Rancho Cucamonga left fielder Scott Schebler is starting to show a more confident hitting approach to add to his natural athletic abilities.
"He has been more disciplined and improved his whole game," Quakes manager Carlos Subero said. "He has more confidence and is able to drive the ball to all fields."
Schebler is batting .315 with 18 home runs and 58 RBIs in 82 games. He has been extremely hot recently, hitting .395 over his last 10 contest. Since the All-Star break, he has a .392 batting average with nine homers in 26 games.
Schebler credits Quakes coach Johnny Washington, who also coached him at Rookie-level Ogden during the 2011 Pioneer League season, with his development as a hitter.
"The biggest thing is that I am feeling more comfortable at the plate," said Schebler, an Iowa native who was the Dodgers' 26th-round pick in the 2010 Draft. "I've worked with Wash early every day. I have learned the important thing isn't stats, it's getting good swings."
Schebler said the different leagues have taught him more about hitting in a consistent manner. Last year in the Midwest League, he had 67 RBIs and batted .260 with the Great Lakes Loons.
"It was a great experience because it teaches you how to hit," he said. "You can't get away with hitting the ball in the air because the ball won't carry."
The California League, in contrast, is regarded as a hitters' league. So Schebler has had to make adjustments in his mental approach.
"When I first got here, I was trying to do too much," he said.
Schebler realized he wasn't going to hit .700 and concentrated more on making every at-bat count.
"If you waste two at-bats in 10 games, that's 20 at-bats. I learned to concentrate at each at-bat and let it go after it is over."
Schebler's athletic talent was showcased when he played five sports in high school. The way Iowa's school calendar works, baseball is a summer sport.
"I have a hard time explaining this to people outside of Iowa," he said. "I played football and basketball, and the coaches let me play soccer and run track in the spring."
Schebler was a shortstop in high school and mostly a designated hitter at Des Moines Area Community College. As a professional, he was shifted to the outfield, which proved more difficult than he initially thought.
"I had been a good athlete, so I thought playing the outfield would be easy," Schebler said. "I had a lot to learn and Damon Mashore (a Dodgers' Minor League instructor and former California League manager) has worked wonders with me."
Cal Leaguers in Futures Game: Two of MLB.com's No. 1 prospects playing in the California League participated in the Futures Game on Sunday in New York. Oakland's Addison Russell of the Stockton Ports was selected to the United States team, which defeated the World team, 4-2. San Francisco's Kyle Crick of the San Jose Giants pitched in the ninth inning for the U.S.
Other California League participants were Lake Elsinore catcher Austin Hedges and Lancaster second baseman Delino DeShields. Two others, D-backs prospect Archie Bradley and Mariners catcher Ji-Man Choi played in the Cal earlier this season.
Marmol pitches with Quakes: Carlos Marmol, who saved 92 games over the last three seasons for the Cubs, has recorded one save in three appearances with Rancho Cucamonga. Acquired by the Dodgers, he was placed on outright waivers and sent to Triple-A Albuquerque to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. After clearing waivers, Marmol was assigned to the Quakes to get some work.
Humphries shows consistency: Brian Humphries has been a consistent offensive threat for Modesto, the Rockies' Cal League affiliate. Colorado selected him out of Pepperdine in the 14th round of the 2011 Draft and, after a modest .254 batting average in April, the left-handed hitter has a .321 or better average in each month starting in May. He has a .366 mark since the All-Star break and has been successful on all four of this stolen base attempts.
Moving up roundup: Stockton's Max Muncy was promoted to Double-A Midland of the Texas League. The A's prospect hit 21 homers in 93 games with a .907 OPS with the Ports.
Third baseman-turned-pitcher Pedro Baez moved from the Quakes to Double-A Chattanooga. He had a hard time hitting Southern League pitching and the Dodgers may have figured that if he couldn't beat the pitchers, he would join them. A similar switch worked with Kenley Jansen, a former catcher who progressed from the Cal League to the big leagues in 2010.
Lake Elsinore first baseman Lee Orr earned a promotion to Double-A San Antonio of the Texas League.